A three-year-old child, who had earlier been given treatment for severe malnutrition, succumbed to fever and diarrhoea at Karahal block of Sheopur on Sunday. The intervention of the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), in charge of the area, Narottam Bhargav, who made arrangements for the child to be taken to the Karahal Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), could not help the child.
The Saharia tribal child, Arun, was from village Bandarhar near Karahal block headquarters. His case had attracted the attention of the district administration in January this year, as he had to be referred to the Gwalior medical college hospital for treatment because of the seriousness of his condition. Apart from being malnourished, Arun, son of Padam Adiwasi, had acute anaemia then and had to be transfused blood. He was released from the Gwalior hospital after undergoing treatment for a month, Uma Chaturvedi of non-government organisation Sahayog said. Sahayog was the organisation that had taken the lead in getting Arun treated.
SDM Bhargav said he was on a field visit after the recent reports of malnutrition deaths in the district, especially Karahal block, when he found the parents of Arun trying to take him to the hospital on foot. "The child looked quite ill and we got a vehicle arranged to send him to the NRC. But, later, the doctors told me that the child was no more," said Bhargav. He added that the child was ailing since the last few days, but the parents took him to a local private doctor instead of the government hospital. Arun's condition worsened further.
Chaturvedi alleged that the doctor, to whom the child was taken, had earlier botched-up some other cases of malnourished children too and demanded that the district administration initiate action against him.
The SDM said he would make inquiries about the cause of the child's death with the doctors at the NRC, Karahal and if any negligence by the private doctor was found, action would be initiated against him.